Photo: Hansi Johnson

March Madness – Finding calm amid coronavirus anxiety

It was a brisk and beautiful morning, the sky cloudless, the sunlight sharp. It was the kind of day that under different circumstances would have you looking forward to the coming seasons of warmth and splendor and carefree fun. We began packing the car. I’ll never forget the looks on some of my neighbors’ faces as I took the bags of groceries—canned goods, pasta, rice and yes, even some toilet paper—to the car. Those faces betrayed thoughts. Wait, should I be doing the same thing? Fear may be the only thing more contagious than this virus.

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Photo by Jim Klug

The Roadless Rule in America’s Salmon Forest

“Judge Sharon Gleason, U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Alaska, ruled last week that the Forest Service violated federal law by approving future logging in the 16.7 million-acre Tongass National Forest.”

I pay my bills here in Southeast Alaska, at least in part, by having short and intense conversations on airplanes. I help wedge wadered clients from all over the globe into DeHavilland Beavers, then drop in on some of the planet’s most spectacular temperate rainforest

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A Wet World that Burns

Spending more time at home lately? Fancy yourself a writer? Could you use $2,500? Then consider entering a submission for the 2020 Robert Traver Fly Fishing Award, sponsored by the John D. Voelker Foundation and the American Museum of Fly Fishing (AMFF). Here is the link to the awards page: https://www.voelkerfoundation.com/traveraward/  and below is the winning submission from 2019—”A Wet World that Burns” by Jimmy Watts (photos by Carson Artac), which first appeared in the summer 2018 issue of The Drake

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Photo: Nick Price

Mag Bay Magic

Survive, is what an angler does the first few minutes after hooking a striped marlin. My friend Nick and I shout with joy, accompanied by excited words in Spanish from our new friends. We watch a reel getting emptied and watch the fish leap, flip, and dive. Thirty minutes later and it’s the post-release chatter,…

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Photo: Tosh Brown

American Greed, Inc.

riter and historian David T. Courtwright calls them “limbic capitalists”—people or companies that target our limbic system, the part of our brains primarily responsible for emotion, especially as it relates to pleasure, motivation, and survival. Courtwright is author of The Age of Addiction: How Bad Habits Became Big Business. “Biological evolution shaped the limbic system,…

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Photo: Nate Koenigsknecht

Can’t We Let Them Live?

As a lifetime Oregon resident, angler, and guide, I spend 40-60 days a year on the rivers of the Southern Oregon coast. I interact with anglers that use all types of methods, and every one of them I’ve talked to has noticed a significant decline in encounters with wild steelhead. How can this be explained?…

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Photo: Corey Kruitbosch

The Winter Writhe

It’s late February and I stumble out the door to grab another beer kept cold by winter’s free refrigeration. If it was anything but the high-octane variety, it would’ve frozen from a lack of alcohol. I pop the cap, drain it, and unzip my pants, melting as much snow as possible when I piss—anything to…

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Photo: Josh England

Holding Over

Every year, a small number of striped bass winter over in the bays, marshes, and salt ponds of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. We call them “holdovers.” They’re not big, they can be tough to find, and by the middle of the winter, they look a little haggard. Their flanks, once polished a gleaming silver by a…

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Video Dayz: The Mend

“The Mend” is a heartfelt story about a promising high-school football coach, who’s star player is also his son. After losing the championship game to crosstown rivals, a rift forms in the family dynamic. Years later the father-son duo, with the help of a river, find a way to reconnect. Directed by Broc J. Isabelle.…

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11th Annual Chica de Mayo

Chica de Mayo has proven to be a massively successful women’s flyfishing fiesta. And, if you’re anywhere near Bozeman on Saturday, May 11, be sure to drop by The River’s Edge West and SIMMS Fishing Products to see what’s new. “This year, we’re expanding our educational offerings and also hosting an event kick off social/trunk…

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2019 Traver Writing Award

The John D. Voelker Foundation and the American Museum of Fly Fishing are now accepting submissions for the 2019 Robert Traver Flyfishing Writing Award. The author of the winning essay will pocket $2,500. (Enough beer money to see you through run off. Maybe.) The Traver Award was created in 1994 by Nick Lyons and the…

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“Fish or Die” Lives

We’ve followed Chris Owens, Brian Jill, Thad Robinson and Jay Johnson onscreen, navigating gnarly fishing terrain and living to tell about it, for years. This month the well-vaccinated foursome brings the “Fish or Die” party to Animal Planet. “They are not survival experts, but these close friends are determined to work together and boldly follow…

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Osprey Journal on the Rise

The Osprey journal teams with US and Canadian conservation groups to expand its wild salmon and steelhead advocacy For more than 30 years, The Osprey journal has dug its talons into wild Pacific salmon and steelhead advocacy by promoting the best science and policies to restore and conserve native fish populations.

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Mile-High 25 — Enter Today

Colorado’s Anglers All fly shop is getting set to detonate its annual Mile-High 25 showdown — the world’s premier “Catch, Photo, Release” tourney. For 2019, more than 50 teams will test skills against 25 eligible species on the fly. From muskie to wiper to bluegill to splake, last season’s attendees landed 24 out of 25…

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Video Daze: Ghost of Steelhead Future

Someone wise once said, “If we can’t remember our past, we’re doomed to repeat it.” In Sage’s latest Swing Season edit, Ghost of Steelhead Future, Ashland Fly Shop’s Jon Hazlett also says something genius: “Abandon the river… abandon the fish… not this river!” Catch up with Jon as he time-machines back into an Atlantic salmon…

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Video Daze: Live More Now

“A flyfishing guide based in Colorado, Maddie Brenneman has followed her heart right into the life she’s designed for herself, but not without some trial and error. Constantly taking a long look at her own motivations and desires, she’s made sure that she’ll never look back and wonder, ‘What if?’” Via the “Live More Now”…

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Video Daze: Alignment (Full Feature)

Shot entirely in northern British Columbia, Alignment brings the worlds of steelheading and snowboarding together across a wintry season of discovery. The full-length film, below, features Eric Jackson, John Jackson, Curtis Ciszek, Darcy Bacha, and friends as they ride B.C.’s breathtaking mountains and swing its wild rivers in search of balance. Three months in the woods…

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Video Daze: Alignment

Alignment is a story about finding balance during a winter-long season that teeters between going big in the Coast Mountains and going remote on steelhead rivers fed by those same peaks. Set in Terrace, British Columbia, and using Skeena Spey Lodge as a basecamp, the film features professional snowboarders (and feral anglers) Eric Jackson, John…

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Free the Snake Flotilla is Back

Last year more than 400 people came together and paddled six miles in support of the return of a free-flowing lower Snake River. This year the Flotilla will focus on tribal land and tradition. Canoe families from sovereign tribes across the Northwest will gather on the Clearwater River, and paddle downstream through the heart of…

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Video Daze: BeAlive—Jeff Currier

Jeff Currier—one of the most accomplished, humble anglers alive—on being Jeff. Via BeAlive: “Flyfisher and self-taught artist Jeff Currier has caught and painted more unique species of fish than he ever thought possible. He is now chasing his goal of 500 across the globe, while also sharing his love of fishing through teaching, writing, and…

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Alaska OKs Big Risk Because the Law Says It’s OK

This November a new ballot initiative calling for improved fish habitat safeguards could rewrite the rules Bristol Bay, AK, home to the salmon habitat protection battle that’s now been playing on repeat for years, could avoid development threats such as Pebble Mine with a restructuring of the state’s antiquated Fish Habitat Permit Law.

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Bahamas for a Benjamin Raffle

Win the Native Fish Society’s “Bahamas for a Benjamin” raffle and bonefish at a luxe lodge on the Marls of Abaco for less than what you spent last week on pizza and beard oil. Lose, and it’s still a win because your hundred buck donation supports the NFS’s work restoring the Pacific Northwest’s wild fish and…

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4th Annual Bash for Boulder Creek

RepYourWater’s Bash for Boulder Creek is back. The 4th annual event, a fundraiser for Boulder Flycasters (Boulder’s Trout Unlimited chapter), will not only include all of the great festivities of Bashes past—games, food, beer, music, fun—but will also be the launch party for a collaborative collection between RepYourWater and Sight Line Provisions. 

They Came, They Sweated, They Conquered

The 2018 Video Awards brought the party to the Rosen Plaza, Orlando, with another big night of cold beers, live music, and brilliant films. And while Central Florida simmered outside, it was a similarly heated story inside, where the year’s best movies slugged it out for top honors.

Pebble, Still Searching for a Permit and a Prayer

When First Quantum Minerals took its $150 million and bolted earlier this spring, it became the fourth financial backer to leave the warty, unloved Pebble Mine project at the altar. If dug, Pebble would become the largest open-pit copper and gold mine in North America. Worse, it would sit at the headwaters of Bristol Bay, Alaska.…

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Video Daze: Beyond the Horizon (Full Feature)

Beyond the Horizon is a story of redemption and personal discovery made possible via the exploration of a new permit fishery located 160 miles east of Guanaja, Honduras. If you missed catching it at the film tour, check out the full cut of the Faraway Cay saga, below, from our friends at Cold Collaborative. Read more…

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Video Daze: The Salmon Coast

Conserving wild salmon and steelhead habitat on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula is the driver behind “The Salmon Coast”—a new film from Shane Anderson. Projects detailed here will help open up hundreds of miles of water to incoming fish. The other key part of the recipe: Ensuring that there are still fish around to populate that habitat.…

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Video Daze: A Normal Life

Fishing the remote waters of Alaska’s Alagnak River is a dream shared by countless trout bums. While that dream is Russel Owen’s reality, it came at a cost. For a look inside Owen’s abnormal existance, check out the new video from Filson:

Upper Missouri Waterkeeper

Bozeman’s Upper Missouri Waterkeeper organization works to protect clean, fishable, swimmable, drinkable water throughout the 25,000 sq. miles of Montana’s Upper Missouri River Basin. Check out its newly launched fundraiser page, where you can help support efforts that safeguard regional waterways and communities from projects that would do harm “We use a combination of strong…

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Survive the Sound

Survive the Sound could be the title of the next big, hipster music festival. But luckily for all of us, it’s not. Seattle, WA-based non-profit Long Live the Kings has created Survive the Sound, an online game, as an educational tool to raise awareness for migrating steelhead in Puget Sound.

2018 Baikal Headwaters Expedition

A story of wholes and fractions Russia’s Lake Baikal contains one-fifth of the earth’s fresh surface water, while two-thirds of its plant and animal species exist nowhere else on the planet. One river, the Selenge, provides more than half of the lake’s annual inflows. Without this river and its tributaries, there would be no Baikal…

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Washington’s Wild Sky Remains Wild

Skykomish River hydropower project nuked Last year the South Fork of the Skykomish River joined the ranks of the down-and-out on American Rivers’ 10 most endangered rivers list. The reason: Snohomish County PUD had proposed to build a dubious run-of-the-river hydropower project at Sunset Falls that would have diverted a 1.1 mile section of water,…

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Rapids Camp, Alaska, for a Benjamin

Experience some of the best fly-out fishing in Alaska for a hundred bucks, and support a good cause while you’re at it. Oregon’s Native Fish Society is now selling raffle tickets for a trip to Rapids Camp Lodge. It will draw one lucky winner (who gets to bring one stoked friend) on May 15.

Lost Steelhead Season Found

Rebounding runs on Washington’s Skagit River prompt this month’s reopening Puget Sound anglers who’ve been logging long miles to get their steelheading fix now have a much closer-to-home option on the Skagit and Sauk rivers, beginning tomorrow.

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A Madison River Makeover

Montana’s Madison River saw a swarm of more than 179,000 angler days in 2017. During the height of salmonfly season that traffic is condensed—like a resort parking lot the morning after a colossal dump on the slopes. Now Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) is aiming to alleviate the stress, announcing this week that it’s…

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